2009 Anda, Bohol, Central Visayas, The Philippines

We took the Fast Ferry Cat Service (which was fast) through the Bohol Strait. It cost Php 500 for each of us (US$20 for the two of us). Even when the luggage and porter charges were added, it was inexpensive. The passage was very rough; many people were sick. We had brought fruit for lunch on the ferry but couldn't eat on the boat. Dimitri had arranged with our hotel (Anda White Sands Beach Resort) to pick us up at the ferry and Regan was there to meet us. We had a gorgeous 2-hour drive to Anda (on a peninsula in the southeast end of Bohol) and ate our lunch in the back seat of the van.

The Insight Guide Philippines says: “Boholanos are known to be an extremely clannish and industrious lot, and possibly for this reason are often pointed out as bogeymen in a region generally more familiar with lassitude.” That trait was obvious to us as soon as we got on the road. It was a beautiful drive on a well-maintained road by the sea. Roadside trash bins were color-coded, presumably for different types of trash. The houses were made of covered concrete and looked sturdy.They generally had well-tended gardens with fences around them. Each village or barangay (the smallest socio-political unit) has a large and impressive Catholic church and some also have smaller protestant one. Along the road are picturesque rice fields and beautiful views of the sea.

Anda White Sands Beach Resort (Anda White Beach Resort, Sitio Dagohoy, Barangay Bacong, 6311 Anda, Bohol, Philippines, Tel (0915)5410-507, web: http://www.andabeachresort.com/) is all by itself and only had two other rooms occupied when we arrived. We were really looking forward to the quiet after Mactan Island and Cebu. We looked at all of their different rooms and decided to stay in the type of room that Dimitri had originally arranged by Internet. It was the Deluxe type and not right on the beach. The resort is small enough that even though we were on the garden with a view of the "infinity" pool, we could see the sea from our room and patio. Our rate was Php 3055 per night for 6 nights or US$59.42 for an air conditioned room(which was the rate for the standard room there but Dimitri had negotiated a free upgrade to the Deluxe type). That rate also included the transfer, breakfast for 2, hot water in the shower and Internet in the room for one computer using a Smart Bro stick.

The room was long and we were able to re-arrange it to our liking. We brought in 2 comfortable chairs for TV watching at one end of the room and put the bed and end tables at the other end of the room. We were brought 2 bottles of water each day for free and when we asked, we were brought 4 bottles of water--that turned out to be 1 L total. Audre gets really annoyed in countries where the government doesn't spend the money to bring clean faucet water to the people. Audre gets doubly annoyed when hotels don't have potable water for their guests for free. At Anda White, we were given plenty of water for free.

It was the first time that Dimitri used that cellular technology to connect to the Internet and he was interested to find out how it worked. Evidently, it will work in locations that have mobile phone connectivity. You buy the stick and fill it up with mobile Internet time (similar to how we buy a "sim" card for our mobile phone and then purchase calling time). It could be useful to us in places that have mobile phone service but no wi-fi. Well, the Smart Bro stick was better than nothing. Dimitri could download our e-mail but it wasn't fast enough to download webpages. Then the stick needed re-charging; after being re-charged Dimitri noticed the speed of his Internet connection had increased. Maybe it was co-incidence maybe not. In any event, Dimitri had enough connectivity to make arrangements by e-mail for our next accommodation.

In the mini bar area, there was an electric hot water boiler and a mini fridge which we had cleaned out of all of their stuff. Since we were carrying our French Press Coffee Maker and coffee, Dimitri could make his early morning coffee while I was showering and drying my hair. With his morning cup of coffee, Dimitri sat at the desk in the room and connected to the Internet using the Smart Bro stick that fit into the USB port of the HP.
So our accommodation at Anda White was working out just fine and at a reasonable price.
Us in Anda White's Jacuzzi--you can really see the wind whipping up the palm trees

The breakfast that was included in our room rate was cooked to order and was good. Actually, Anda White is so remote we had all of our meals there. Felix the cook did a great job and during the week, we ate very well for very little money (US$23 a day for the 2 of us, as it turned out). One night we had a whole grilled fish that was excellent and that was actually enough for dinner for 2 nights. Other nights we tried Filipino items from the menu and we were pleased.

During the week we were at Anda White the weather was often cloudy and very windy. Anda sits on the open sea so the prevailing wind comes whipping through. It didn't rain too much and we took long walks on the long white sand beach. When it got sunny we took the resort's kayak out for an hour (Php 300). The sea was a bit rough but it brought back happy memories of our kayaking in Phuket in '03 and in Tahiti Iti in '05. We've been away from the beach for too long.
We're kayaking off of Anda White
The sand at Anda White was actually white and the soft, powdery sand we like. We really liked our beach walks. One day we walked to the micro-town of Anda and when we got to the main road it started raining. We saw people sitting under a shelter by the road and we joined them. There was a boy who told us he was 14; he spoke enough English to talk to us. There was another boy who said he was 22 and a girl who said she was 15. They all looked younger, frankly. We asked the 14-year old boy if he had a girlfriend and he said he had one for everyday of the week. They asked us where we were from and other questions. Very friendly kids. Then a girl walked by and we asked the boys if it was their girlfriend because they were giggling so much. They said "no, that the girl was a 'she-he'". Interesting! When it stopped raining we got a motorcycle tricycle taxi back to Anda White.

We were there over the US holiday of Labor Day and some new guests arrived that were Americans who worked for and with the US Embassy in Manila. We had a nice time socializing with them. It was very quiet with few guests at that time of year.
Another day, we walked the other direction and came upon a building site. We talked to Buddy from Virginia who is building a small resort (to be called Vitamin Sea) right on the beach between Anda White and the dive resort called Flower. He was very friendly and full of information. His design for his resort sounded like it would be nice and have all of the mod cons we require (air conditioned rooms, hot water shower, Internet, cable TV). We walked on to the resort called Flower. We thought it was awful--very poorly maintained. We were shown a room by one of the friendly guests. It was below basic.
Kids doing acrobatics on the (unusual) white sand near Anda White

We met Grace de Wijin, the owner of our resort and were sorry that her husband didn't arrive from Beijing where he has a "day job" while were were there. After 6 nights in remote Anda, we went back to Tagbilaran with Regan to take the ferry to our next beach resort on the island of Negros Oriental.
Oh, one more thing, if you are going to visit the Mag-Aso Waterfalls on Bohol, or any other waterfalls in the Philippines for that matter, look at this post on the flash flood in June of 2009 that killed 2 people. (The Mag Aso Waterfalls are north of Tagbilaran on the west coast of Bohol and walking distance from Antequera) .

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